Contrary to what most people might think, millions of people across North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand safely live within designated flood plains. There are many different types of flood zones, some being far higher risk than others. The high-risk flood zones typically are not developed by choice or through government restrictions. Typically, flooded homes shown on the local news from time to time are homes that are located in low-risk flood zones. A low-risk flood plain is usually one that will see a major flood once every few decades. Thankfully, there are many steps that can be taken to protect homes that are built in flood plains.
The Top 5 Ways to Protect Your Flood Zone Property
- Elevate – Anyone that is considering building a property within a flood plain should always be sure that all of the important living quarters within the home are well above the base flood elevation level. FEMA and local government authorities keep detailed records and maps on flood elevation levels in all areas.
- Flood-Resistant Materials – Homes built within flood plain zones should be retrofitted with waterproof and flood-resistant building materials. Concrete block walls, glass block windows, and metal doors are all very resistant to flood-based damage. Walls can also be finished with waterproof veneers that will help keep them dry in the event they are exposed to water.
- Know How to Turn Off The Power – In the event of an impending flood, every homeowner should know how to immediately shut off all power running through the home at the breaker box level. Live electrical lines within a flooded home can pose a lethal risk of injury.
- Protect Your Utilities – Utilities such as water heaters, air conditioning units, electrical panels, fuse boxes, furnaces, and sewer traps should all be installed above the base flood level. Furthermore, check valves should be installed on all water lines to ensure that floodwater cannot back up and pour into a home through the pipes.
- Screen For Fire Hazards – Homes within flood plains should have all flammable chemicals and materials cleared from the base level of the home. Contrary to what most people think, floodwaters often start fires due to flammable chemicals spilling into live utilities.